The Chhattisgarh police have called off a massive push against the Naxals in Rajnandgaon district on Wednesday, fearing that the rebels must have got wind of the operation from media reports.
A combined force of over 1,000 personnel from the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), Chhattisgarh Armed Force (CAF) and the Rajnandgaon district police were ordered to retreat, as the local media had gone to town with the news of the operation on Tuesday.
The operation in Rajnandgaon, about 80 km west of Raipur, was supposed to be in quick succession to ‘Operation Red Hunt’ on September 19-20 in Dantewada district, about 450 km south of Raipur.
Red Hunt, which led to the death of over 30 Naxals and six men of the CRPF’s elite commando force is considered to be a big success against the rebels in Chhattisgarh.
The Rajnandgaon operation was important for the state security forces, as on July 12 the Rajnandgaon Superintendent of Police and 29 policemen were killed in a Naxal attack.
“We were forced to abandon the entire operation in Rajnandgaon after reckless reporting by the media,” Inspector General of Police RK Vij told Hindustan Times.
Vij said, “Naxals could never gauge our next move. But the information overplayed by the media jeopardised our plan.”
Director General of Police Vishwaranjan, who goes by his first name, said the police force could manage to reach the remote Dantewada district of south Bastar, as the media could not get a whiff of it till the second day of the operation.